Interview - Cloud Nothings
Dylan Baldi discusses his new album, and not having to deal too hard with pressure.
Dylan Baldi, at the ripe old age of 22 has released his fourth full-length album, Here & Nowhere Else, and it cements his indie-darling status. It's seriously all killer-no-filler, and we got to chat with him about it, dealing with the pressure of media outlets such as Pitchfork, and future plans with Wavves. Cloud Nothings' new album is out now via STOP START // iTUNES.
Congrats on Here & Nowhere Else – your fourth album in about five years. Has much changed for your personally up to now since the last one given you’re still only 22?
My general outlook on things has changed. I always felt like most people could do whatever they want with their lives, as long as they worked hard at it, but I started to doubt that after doing the band for three years and not having much success. Then things started to work out. It’s a very gratifying feeling to have something you’ve worked at for so long finally start to pay off. So I guess, in general, I feel a bit more free and open-minded than I used to.
Your new album was named in Pitchfork’s “40 Most Anticipated Releases of 2014” – are you the kinda artist that notices these things/feels a bit of pressure, or is it more a case of just rolling with it?
That stuff is cool, it’s nice that someone is excited for the record! I don’t really feel any pressure from it because I don’t particularly care if someone likes my music or not, as long as I’m happy with it. It’s just kind of surreal to realise that people are anticipating the music. I try not to think about that stuff and just work in my bubble.
Has Cloud Nothings forced your hand in terms of ‘growing up’, your various touring and travelling is something not everyone gets to experience – and does that come out in the writing of new music?
I’m as confused as anyone else, I’ve just been more places! I like traveling, and I’m sure it helps me learn about myself in some way, but mostly I’m just having fun. When I sit down to write a record is when I really think about what I’ve been up to and what’s going on in my life, but it’s more of an inner thing.
And how was it working with John Congleton – what did he bring to the table for Here & Nowhere else?
He’s a really good producer, and he made us sound more or less exactly like we do live. That’s all I can really ask for from a producer, I’m not trying to make artsy studio records at the moment.
Since the last record there have been a few changes in the Cloud Nothings world. Firstly, you’re now a power trio as opposed to a four-piece, and the internet is telling me that you’re living in Paris at the moment. How is the band going as a three-piece and does affect you guys in the studio or live? And Paris how is that working out.
Playing as a three-piece is fun. I had to learn how to play guitar different, doing melodic stuff and chords at the same time. Everyone has to pull their own weight now, it’s hard to hide behind someone if there’s just three people. Living in Paris is cool… There are too many people, and it smells pretty bad in some places. But there’s a lot of opportunity to see great art there all the time.
The Internet has blown up recently with the announcement that you have been hanging in California and working with Nathan Williams from Wavves on some music, so straight from the horses mouth what’s the deal? When are we going to hear it? How was Cali?
I’m not sure what we’re doing yet, we recorded six or seven songs at his house in March. They’re pretty good! I’m sure they’ll come out eventually, just not sure in what manner yet. California was good, I’m thinking about moving to Los Angeles for a bit. The vibe there was really welcoming, and it seemed like a great place to hole up and get a bunch of work done.
What are the plans for the rest of the year? No doubt there is a bunch of touring, so what will the downtime bring and when can we catch you in Australia?
Touring for the next six months or so, Australia in December. Then I’m taking a long vacation.